Electrical Contracting News (ECN) September 2016 - Page 32

BATTERY STORAGE The rapid evolution of battery technology has changed everything. ON THE CHARGE According to industry experts, battery storage is set to transform the renewables industry; constituting ‘the second residential solar revolution’. However, there is still a long way to go, particularly when it comes to ensuring we have the skill-sets needed to propel this unique technology forward. Steve Everard of Rexel Energy Solutions advises. W hile solar PV has dominated the renewables realm for some time, recent years have seen another important technology creep onto the horizon; battery storage. Renewables Battery storage, in effect, enables users to maximise self-consumption generated by renewable technologies, such as solar PV, windfarms and the like, by storing away any excess energy which can then be used as needed. In short, it will store up cheap electricity generated when demand is lower then discharge it at peak times when energy from the traditional network supplied mainly by large power stations is expensive. The result is a huge financial advantage for the householder. Not only do these storage systems enable them to reduce their electricity costs by optimising the time they receive power but they can reduce their bills further by selling excess power back to the network at times of high demand. They could also provide an emergency back up if the main grid fails. Of course, this isn’t new news. Energy storage has been possible for a number of years; however, it has traditionally been incredibly expensive, cumbersome and difficult to use. This has meant residential energy storage has been largely confined to off-grid applications and storage enthusiasts – that is, until now. 32 32-33 Battery Storage – Rexel.indd 32 10/08/2016 16:27